Healthy Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 14 cupcakes
These are some of my all-time favorite cupcakes! They’re supremely tender and full of bright orange and tangy cranberry flavor, then topped with stunning swirls of sweet cream cheese frosting. Yum! They’re best if eaten the same day they’re made, but leftovers will keep for at least five days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • for the cupcakes
  • 2 ¼ cups (270g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp (15g) orange zest (about 2 medium)
  • ½ tbsp (7g) coconut oil or unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp (15mL) vanilla stevia
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup (120mL) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 medium)
  • 10 tbsp (150mL) nonfat milk
  • 1 ½ cups (165g) fresh whole cranberries, diced
  • for the frosting
  • 1 cup (240g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz (1 block) light or fat-free cream cheese, well softened
  • 2 servings (16g) sugar-free, fat-free instant cheesecake pudding mix (see Notes)
  • ⅝ tsp vanilla stevia, or adjusted to taste
  1. To prepare the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 14 muffin cups with paper liners, and coat the liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg whites, vanilla, and vanilla stevia. Add in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no large lumps remain. Stir in the orange juice. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently fold in the cranberries.
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners. Bake at 350°F for 22-25 minutes or until the centers feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. While the cupcakes bake, prepare the frosting. Add the Greek yogurt, cream cheese, instant pudding, and vanilla stevia to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Cover the top of the bowl with foil, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, pipe the cream cheese frosting on top just before serving.
Notes: For the gluten-free flour, use the following blend: 1 cup (120g) millet flour, ¾ cup (90g) tapioca flour, ½ cup (60g) brown rice flour, and 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends should work as well, if measured like this.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

Don’t skip the orange zest! It actually provides the majority of the citrus flavor.

I highly recommend using the vanilla stevia! It’s one of my favorite ingredients (you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine!), and I buy it online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. If you prefer not to use stevia in the cupcakes, substitute ¾ cup (180mL) of agave, honey, or pure maple syrup for the vanilla stevia. Omit the milk. (The batter should be fairly thick, similar to muffin batter.) If you prefer not to use the vanilla stevia in the frosting, then substitute 1 ½ teaspoons of this powdered stevia OR ¼ cup of Truvia or granulated sugar.

The cranberries should be measured when whole, then diced! To quickly dice the cranberries, add them to a food processor, and pulse until they’re no larger than ¼ of their original size.

Frozen and thawed cranberries that have been patted dry to remove any excess moisture may be substituted for the fresh. In a pinch, ¾ cup of diced dried cranberries that have been hydrated may be substituted. To hydrated the dried cranberries, add them to a microwave-safe bowl, add water until it rises ½” above the cranberries, and cover the top with a lid or plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Let the cranberries sit while preparing the scone dough. Just before mixing them in, drain and pat dry.

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

You just need the dry instant pudding mix—don’t prepare it according to the package directions! For a more classic spreadable (not pipe-able) cream cheese frosting that does NOT use instant pudding (and is clean-eating friendly), use this recipe of mine.

{gluten-free, clean eating option, low fat, lower sugar}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at